Sunday, November 30, 2008

Trans fats in Australia

Came across an article this morning in the smh, regarding the fact that Krispy Kreme still uses trans fats in their doughnuts here in Australia.

Unfortunately, in this country, labelling laws don't make it mandatory to list if there are trans fats in the ingredients. So if the manufacturer doesn't put it on their labels, you have no way whatsoever of finding out if their products contain trans fats. This pisses me off no end, trans fats are nothing but bad, I have no desire to have food that has them in it.

Let me make it clear ... there is no safe level of trans fats that you can eat. No matter how little you eat of it, it is harmful. So much so, that "trans fats have been either gradually outlawed or restricted in Britain, Denmark, Canada, Switzerland and several US states"

And it's not like Krispy Kreme don't know that trans fats are harmful, they've had to overhaul their operations in places where trans fats are banned.

Hopefully at some point Australia will do something about this harmful substance.


Just been doing a little research to see what is being done at this point.

According to the Food Standards website for Australia and New Zealand, they have found the following:

"Australians obtain only 0.6 per cent of their daily kilojoules from trans fatty acids and New Zealanders only 0.7 per cent. This is well below the World Health Organization recommendation to consume no more than 1 per cent of your daily kilojoules from trans fatty acids and well below many other countries."

While I understand that this is a very low percentage of what we eat, if there are no nutritional benefits whatsoever, then surely a total ban is the only way to go.

And the part "well below many other countries" bothers me. Which countries? They don't say. These other countries may be ones where there is a very high level of trans fats. And really who cares if we are below other countries, surely this isn't a competition, surely the goal is health and wellbeing for ourselves, and regulating for ourselves, rather than comparing to other countries.

So what is being done at the moment ...

A group was formed in 2007 called "The Australia New Zealand Collaboration on Trans Fats". This group's aim is to help reduce the amount of trans fats in our food supply. They will report back in early 2009 with their result. While it is good to reduce trans fats, I don't believe this is enough.

A total ban is necessary. If this takes time, if manufacturers need some space to reorganise their practices, then in the meantime there needs to be an amendment to the food labelling laws to make it mandatory to declare the presence of trans fats in foods. That way, we can make informed choices about what we are putting into our bodies.

No comments: